Therapeutic Approaches for Cancer Patients

  • Kyung Bong Koh


To live with cancer is much more than adapting to the treatments and their side effects. In the assessment and treatment of cancer patients, the importance of psychosocial factors is emphasized. The necessity for psychiatric treatment and assessment of therapies is increased in order to improve side effects of treatment and enhance quality of life. Treatment team members need to be careful of the possibility that psychiatric problems may occur regardless of the progress of illness. In case such problems occur, psychiatric consultation should be considered. The therapeutic approaches used in cancer patients are a combination of psychotherapeutic, behavioral, and psychopharmacologic techniques. Psychotherapeutic approaches include cognitive therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and self-help treatment. Behavioral approaches, such as relaxation, biofeedback, systematic desensitization, hypnosis, and guided imagery, are helpful for pain and anxiety during procedures, nausea and vomiting, and cancer-related eating disorders. Psychopharmacologic approach is effective for anxiety, depression, delirium, pain, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. An integrated approach including those therapeutic techniques tailored to each individual’s need is strongly suggested.


Cancer Psychosocial factors Quality of life Psychiatric consultation Psychotherapeutic techniques Behavioral techniques Psychopharmacologic techniques Integrated approach 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyung Bong Koh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea

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